Suzuki already testing 2022 MotoGP engine in Qatar

Suzuki test rider Sylvain Guintoli has revealed the Japanese marque has already been testing its 2022 MotoGP engine during Qatar pre-season running

Suzuki already testing 2022 MotoGP engine in Qatar

As part of COVID-19 cost-saving measures introduced at the height of the pandemic last year, all engine development for non-concession manufacturers (Suzuki, Yamaha, Honda, Ducati and KTM) has been outlawed for 2021 and 2020 engines must carry over.

KTM must observe the same development ban, but has been allowed to build a new engine for homologation as the original rule was written while it was still a concession manufacturer.

Suzuki has new 2021 parts it has been trying in Qatar, including a new chassis and swingarm, but it has also taken the opportunity with test riders Guintoli and Takuya Tsuda to begin testing a 2022-spec engine.

Reigning world champion Joan Mir was the best-placed Suzuki in Saturday's test running, placing third behind Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) and Stefan Bradl (Honda).

“We’ve started straight away testing quite a lot of new items,” Guintoli said on Saturday.

“We have a new engine spec, this is for 2022. So, we’ve been working on that already.

“And today [Saturday] we also did some more work with chassis. So, a new chassis, new swingarm, a different suspension as well.

“We’ve done quite a lot of work already today, which is very interesting. So, that’s it, flatout straight away and I haven’t ridden in five months. So, I’m feeling it!

“We’re looking for some improvements already in the philosophy that we’ve got, because obviously it’s not working too bad at the moment, the 2020/2021 spec.

Sylvain Guintoli, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Sylvain Guintoli, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“Obviously, the inline-four is missing a little bit of top speed, so we’re trying to compensate a little bit in that way as well.

“At the moment, because the engine is already very good, it’s not going to be some huge step.”

When asked if developing a 2022 engine could have a negative impact on race riders Mir and Alex Rins, who have just five days of testing available to them before the 2021 season gets underway, Guintoli noted the unpredictable nature of the COVID pandemic meant Suzuki had to use the opportunity presented by the current engine freeze to begin its 2022 work early.

“This year with the frozen engine spec, this kind of allows us work for 2022,” he explained.

“I think that was a very good thing to do, because considering this situation with COVID it’s so difficult.

“I can’t go to Japan to test. So, there’s been some testing there but it’s not the same.

"The few tests we had last year, we tried to use the time as good as possible but working already for the future is really important now because we don’t know what this year is going to be made of as well. We don’t know how many opportunities we’re going to get.

"We need to get stuck in straight away, make the most of our time, be efficient with the track time we have.

“An engine spec is not an easy decision, so we have to get stuck in straight away.”

Suzuki has been caught out by a misstep in engine direction before, when in its first year as a non-concession team in 2017 Andrea Iannone selected the wrong spec pre-season.

The Japanese marque struggled all year and ultimately gained its concessions back for 2018 after a podium-less campaign.

shares
comments
Espargaro: Honda and KTM MotoGP bikes “too different to compare”
Previous article

Espargaro: Honda and KTM MotoGP bikes “too different to compare”

Next article

Quartararo "totally lost" readjusting to Yamaha MotoGP bike

Quartararo "totally lost" readjusting to Yamaha MotoGP bike
Why Honda and Yamaha have been left behind in MotoGP's new era Plus

Why Honda and Yamaha have been left behind in MotoGP's new era

The once all-conquering Japanese manufacturers are going through a difficult period in MotoGP this season. With Suzuki quitting, Honda struggling to get near the podium and Yamaha only enjoying success courtesy of Fabio Quartararo, Japanese manufacturers have been left in the dust by their European counterparts. Key paddock figures explain why.

MotoGP
Jun 28, 2022
Who is Valentino Rossi’s newest MotoGP star? Plus

Who is Valentino Rossi’s newest MotoGP star?

Valentino Rossi’s protégés stole the show at Assen as Francesco Bagnaia stormed to victory to arrest a recent barren run. But it was the rider in second, on Bagnaia’s old bike, who had all eyes on him. Securing his and the VR46 team’s first MotoGP podium, Marco Bezzecchi has all the characteristics that made his mentor special

MotoGP
Jun 27, 2022
How Quartararo is evoking an absent MotoGP great in 2022 Plus

How Quartararo is evoking an absent MotoGP great in 2022

OPINION: Fabio Quartararo has seized control of the 2022 MotoGP world standings after another dominant victory as his nearest rivals faltered. And he is very much heading towards a second championship echoing how the dominator of the last decade achieved much of his success

MotoGP
Jun 20, 2022
The human importance of Marquez’s latest enforced MotoGP absence Plus

The human importance of Marquez’s latest enforced MotoGP absence

OPINION: Marc Marquez will likely sit out the remainder of the 2022 MotoGP season to undergo a fourth major operation on the right arm he badly broke in 2020. It is hoped it will return him to his brilliant best after a tough start to the season without a podium to his name. But it’s the human victory that will far outweigh any future on-track success he may go on to have

MotoGP
May 31, 2022
Why Ducati holds all the power in its MotoGP rider dilemma Plus

Why Ducati holds all the power in its MotoGP rider dilemma

OPINION: The French Grand Prix looks to have made Ducati’s decision on its factory team line-up simpler, as Enea Bastianini stormed to his third win of the campaign and Jorge Martin crashed out for a fifth time in 2022. But, as Ducati suggests to Autosport, it remains in the strongest position in a wild rider market

MotoGP
May 16, 2022
The seismic aftershock left by Suzuki's decision to leave MotoGP Plus

The seismic aftershock left by Suzuki's decision to leave MotoGP

Suzuki's sudden decision to leave the MotoGP World Championship at the end of the season has acted as a stirring element in a market that had already erupted. Autosport analyses what this means for the grid going into 2023

MotoGP
May 11, 2022
How the real Ducati began to emerge in MotoGP’s Spanish GP Plus

How the real Ducati began to emerge in MotoGP’s Spanish GP

Ducati’s 2022 MotoGP bike has had a tough start to life and the expected early-season title charge from Francesco Bagnaia did not materialise. But the Spanish Grand Prix signalled a turning point for both the GP22 and Bagnaia, as the 2021 runner-up belatedly got his season underway after a straight fight with Fabio Quartararo

MotoGP
May 2, 2022
How Honda's praise for its 2022 MotoGP bike has turned into doubt Plus

How Honda's praise for its 2022 MotoGP bike has turned into doubt

In a little over two months, Honda has gone from setting the pace in MotoGP testing with its new RC213V prototype to being at a crossroads - caused by the discrepancy in its riders' feedback. After a Portuguese GP that underwhelmed, serious questions are now being asked of Honda in 2022

MotoGP
Apr 26, 2022